Nannies better off at fast-food outlet

United Voice state secretary Helen Gibbons

United Voice state secretary Helen Gibbons

NANNIES are heralded as the future of affordable and quality childcare yet questions are raised about who will fill these roles when childcare workers are the least paid in the country.

The Productivity Commission's draft report into Childcare and Early Learning recommended that parents be able to list nannies as their childcare providers, and still be eligible for the means-tested childcare payments.

Childcare workers who earn up to $700 a week are already earning less than employees at fast-food chains.

The commission said nannies must have a minimum of certificate 3 qualification, which pays $19 an hour.

United Voice state secretary Helen Gibbons said the commission made no recommendation on how to improve the wage conditions of workers in the early childhood sector, nor was it asked to by the federal government.

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"This is a growing sector that already has an enormous shortage of people willing to work in it," Ms Gibbons said.

"It is going to become increasingly difficult to find those who want to work in it.

"They are looking at expanding the sector, with nannies and various other ways to provide flexible choices for parents, yet the commission doesn't answer the burning question about who are we going to get to do this work, and how do we find the best people to do that."

Ms Gibbons said she had no objection to nannies, but that it was important to get quality, professional people working with children.

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